KISS may not have performed together on stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but they managed to put their ugly feud behind them long enough to accept their statuettes Thursday night.
The four original members of the band who had been trading barbs ever since news of their induction broke — Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley on one side and their ex-bandmates, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, on the other — took the high road to the stage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, trading conciliatory speeches that honored each other’s history with the band.
“This is a profound moment of all of us. We are humbled that the fans ever gave us the chance to do what we love doing,” Simmons told the audience after a rousing induction speech from Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.
“To Ace Frehley, whose iconic guitar playing has been imitated but never equaled … to Peter Criss … there’s not a guy who beats the sticks who sounds just like Peter,” he continued. “Something happened 40 years ago, I met the partner and brother I never knew I had: Paul Stanley. You couldn’t ask for somebody more awesome to work with.”
Simmons then skirted dangerous territory — name-checking all of Frehley and Criss’s successors who were not named to the Rock Hall, but rebounded with one last olive branch.
“We wouldn’t be here today without the original fantastic four,” he concluded.
Criss then took the microphone, thanking everyone who’s ever worked with the band and discussed how he’s been been seven-years healthy after a battle with male breast cancer. He took the evening’s only shot at the drama surrounding Kiss, referencing Eric Singer’s use of Criss’ famous cat makeup. “I want to say, in or out of makeup, I’ll always be the Catman, so it really doesn’t matter. I also want to say, you gotta forgive to live. It’s really important.”
Frehley cut the tension by admitting that he couldn’t read his speech because his sunglasses weren’t prescription, before discussing his seven years of sobriety and how the country needs more education about substance abuse.
Finally, Stanley wrapped it up, saying, “For us, this is a special night but it’s really a special night for our fans because this is vindication. Peter, Ace, Gene, we are the original foursome. We couldn’t have done this if we hadn’t started together. Everything we’ve done is built on the past. We’ve got a great, great legacy.” Then he took a dig at the Hall, and all the critics who’ve denounced them and voted against them. “The people pay for tickets, the people buy albums, the people who nominate [Hall inductees] do not.”
Frehley told the Daily News back stage that he was disappointed that a compromise couldn’t be reached.
“It wasn’t my choice,” he said of not getting the chance to perform. “I wanted to do it. But the bottom line is we’re still brothers in rock ‘n’ roll. And even though we don’t see each other for five, 10, 15 years, it’s just like yesterday.”
Read more at the New York Daily News.
source: nydailynews.com and billboard.com